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 Keratoconus Other Diseases:

 


The "conical cornea" that is characteristic of keratoconus

Keratoconus (from Greek:kerato- horn, cornea; and konos cone), is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structuralchanges within the corneacause it to thin and change to a more conicalshape than its normal gradual curve.

Keratoconus can cause substantialdistortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivityto light all often reported by the patient. It is typicallydiagnosed in the patient's adolescent years and attains its most severestate in the twenties and thirties. If afflicting both eyes, the deteriorationin vision can affect the patient's ability to drive a car or read normal print.In most cases, corrective lenses are effective enough to allowthe patient to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally.Further progression of the disease may require surgeryincluding intrastromal corneal ring segments,corneal collagen cross-linking, or corneal transplantation. However, despitethe disease's unpredictable course, keratoconus can often be successfullymanaged with little or no impairment to the patient's quality oflife.

Keratoconus is the most common dystrophy of the cornea, affecting aroundone person in a thousand. It seems to occur in populations throughout theworld, although it occurs more frequently in certain ethnic groups. The exactcause of keratoconus is uncertain, but has been associated with detrimental enzyme activitywithin the cornea. A geneticlink seems likely, as the incidence rate is greater if a family member has beendiagnosed. The progression of keratoconus is rapid in patients having Downsyndrome.

 


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